Mozart, Violin Sonatas, A.-S. Mutter, L. Orkis
W. Lutosławski, Partita (inter alia), A.-S. Mutter, BBC Symphony Orchestra, W. Lutosławski
Mutter began with a slender Mozart sonata (G Major, K. 379), not even one that particularly stood out on her recording. As on her disc it was the delicate touch of her partner at the piano, Lambert Orkis, principal keyboard player of the National Symphony Orchestra, that stood out, pressing the tempo ahead in the first movement while Mutter seemed to take her time. It is an odd little piece, with an opening Adagio, an arching cantilena in G major, that ends abruptly in D major and sets up an Allegro in G minor, given a more meaty, big-boned sound by both players. In the closing Theme and Variations, Orkis again showed a light handling of the piano-only first variation, with Mutter not quite suited to the filigree fine points of the violin part, giving too much pluck to the harp-like accompaniment of the slow fifth variation, for example. The results were better with Schubert's Fantaisie in C Major (D. 934), with Mutter shining on her E string in the Allegretto section. The variations, based on Schubert's song Sei mir gegrüßt (with that signature harmonic progression from vi to V/vi to V), were the highlight for both musicians, although some syncopated in the piano part -- in one variation that can sound almost like a tango when those accents are emphasized -- seemed tame.
Anne Midgette, Anne-Sophie Mutter has a semi-great night (Washington Post, March 14)
If you can still see straight by late afternoon on St. Patrick's Day, the next WPAS concert is a recital by flutist James Galway (March 17, 4 pm), in the Kennedy Center Concert Hall.